Empires: Is Tobacco Control an Empire?

Well …. yesterday’s post produced an interesting discussion. The post was supposed to be about American politics, and the way in which principles are discarded in favour of opportunism, and the way in which political opportunism seems to be prevalent in the USA judiciary. Specifically, I referred to the RICO case, in which Tobacco Companies were accused, and found guilty, of racketeering. I suppose that ‘racketeering’ means ‘combining forces in order to facilitate criminal activity for monetary gain’. Thus, if breweries combined to artificially raise the general price alcoholic beverages, they would be guilty of ‘racketeering’ (apart from the fact that the supply of alcoholic beverages is not illegal). Perhaps forming groups to supply illicit tobacco products would be a ‘racket’. I don’t know.

But the RICO case seems to have been about tobacco companies combining to present a united front to deny tobacco smoking harm, some time in the past. It seems to me to be particularly ‘soviet’ to have show trials where the State accuses individuals or companies of past crimes which were not crimes at the time, and to deliberately engineer the trial to humiliate the accused. It is even more reprehensible for a Judge, who is supposed to be a defender, as well as an enforcer, of the law, to demand that the ‘guilty’ party announce to the world that he has committed a crime which he has vehemently denied. If a crime has been committed, then punishment is decreed by law. However, and this is where fact diverges from fiction, I do not know if that case was ‘criminal’ or ‘civil’.

There again, the reaction of tobacco companies has been peculiar. You might think that they would appeal, but they have not done so. Instead, they have spent years arguing about the precise wording of the ‘apologies’. Perhaps they are actually doing the right thing, since only when Judge Kessler INSISTS on a form of words can the tobacco companies appeal. What I know to be true is that tobacco control has been moaning like mad about ‘legal delays’.


“Legal Delays” leads me nicely into the topic of ‘Empires’. It seems to be an accepted fact that Empires in the past dissolved under the weight of their bloated, centralised bureaucracies. I do not know if the British Empire suffered the same fate since the two world wars changed everything. It seems certain that the Roman Empire dissolved for that reason. The bureaucracy expanded and expanded until it was no longer sustainable, and, as the Empire started to shrink, the bureaucracy became even bigger.

I think that we are seeing those effects in Britain and the EU. Regulations multiply along with the cost of compliance, and almost all of it is driven by the massive bureaucracy in Brussels, the WHO and the UN – none of which produce anything of value at all. They produce BANS in the disguise of ‘level playing fields’ and ‘health and safety’. They leach on our effort and industry.


Is Tobacco Control an Empire?

Most certainly, and it is a world-wide empire. It bears all the hallmarks of a totalitarian, fascist Empire. It controls the media, academia, taxes, publicity, and has governments under control by appealing to “THE CHILDREN”. No politician dare argue against any proposal which involves the care of children.

However, things move much more rapidly in the modern world than they did in Roman times. An Empire can rise and fall in the space of a few decades, as we have seen with the Soviet Empire.

Perhaps it is too early to say that the Tobacco Control Empire is dissolving, but the signs are there. Internecine warfare has broken out. Many Zealots, like Clive Bates, Michael Siegel, Carl Phillips have championed e-cigs as a ‘safe’ alternative to smoking (NB. I use the word ‘safe’ in the sense of ‘as safe as drinking tap water’) Some governments are beginning to see that the bureaucratic costs of tobacco control extend far more widely than the mere physical cost of tobacco control itself. The decimation of pubs in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales, shortly after the imposition of smoking bans in each case, is a case in point. The cost of tobacco control might measure in mere millions in itself,but the result of its empire building can be counted in the billions.

I wonder when Chapman and Glantz will be sacked for gross failure in the teaching of their students?


2 Responses to “Empires: Is Tobacco Control an Empire?”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    ” The cost of tobacco control might measure in mere millions in itself,” Far more than that. Remember the AMA’s figures on “Tobacco Control Spending” on an annual basis JUST from state government monies (MSA) in the US: 500 million to 900 mill PER YEAR. And that’s not including Big Pharma campaigns or the widespread dependence upon antismoking messages used as a form of “good-will fundraising” by the Heart and Lung and other “charities.”

    – MJM

    • Junican Says:

      When I said ‘in itself’, I was trying to imagine what TC in the UK might claim. They might claim that only certain cost should count. These might include salaries of employees, cost of free gum and patches, etc, which are directly paid for by government. They would claim that the savings from lower costs to the NHS far, far outweigh these costs. (Which is likely to be the reason for ‘heart attack miracles appearing very shortly after the imposition of smoking bans)
      In the USA, I should imagine that any activity funded by the MSA does not count, based upon the idea of ‘zero sum’, or even on ‘minus sum’. That is, the tobacco companies (aka smokers themselves) pay the costs and more besides. Again, they would claim that the ‘prize’ (public health benefits) far outweigh those cost which could be attributed to the taxpayer directly. But they can only claim that by leaving out of the equation all the ‘unintended consequence’ costs.

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